Flash help

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Creative404, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. Creative404

    Creative404 TPF Noob!

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    I currently own a Canon Rebel XSi and I am prepping myself for the coming ski season. The first purchase I would like to make is an external flash. I will be shooting mostly at night on the slopes. Therefore, most of my lighting will come from a low point from the ski slopes light post along the sides.

    I would like to buy a flash that has good reach and is going to shoot fast to keep up with the camera. Am I going to run into problems shooting at 3.5 fps or do most external flashes keep up with that? It looks to me like the Canon 430EX II Speedlite is my best bet.

     
  2. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Are you going to have the flash on camera or off camera. If you are able to have it off camera, then you might be better served by getting about 3 Vivitar flashes (forget the exact model but someone will probably chime in) that are about $75 a piece. Then get some cactus triggers for them all and do the antennae mod that hugely extends the range. Set them up around the slope and then you can be as far away as you want and have your flashes fire on the slope.

    If you have 3 flashes set up like above, they will probably be able to recycle fairly fast since none of them will be shooting at full power most likely.
     
  3. Creative404

    Creative404 TPF Noob!

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    That is a great idea. I dont completely understand though. Would the flashes be wired or wireless?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The working distance (reach) and recycle rate (speed) of the flash will depend on many factors.

    For example, the larger the aperture you are using, the less power the flash has to use. The higher the ISO, the less power the flash has to use. The less power it uses, the faster it will recycle. The reach will be longer (at full power) with a larger aperture or high ISO.

    The 580EX flash is more powerful and recycles faster than the 430EX. It's also quite a bit more expensive.

    Will it be able to keep up with 3.5 fps...that depends on the power you need for each shot. It might work if it's only firing at 1/32 or 1/64...but certainly not at full power.

    You can add an external battery pack, for example the Canon CP-E4 or the Quantum Turbo. Either of these is compatible with the 580 but not the 430.

    Another thing to consider is the cold. Cold temps can severely hamper battery performance. A camera battery that would normally last all day, might only last a couple hours in freezing temperatures. You can bring it back by warming it up. This is why it's recommended to winter shooters to keep a few batteries in their pocket, close to their body.
    The same will be true for batteries in your flash. The cold will kill them fast, not to mention slow down the recycle rate.

    It really depends on a lot of factors...but I'm guessing that shooting with flash, at night, in the cold, trying to shoot at 3.5 fps...just won't work.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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  6. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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